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Wisconsin's trespass law: what you should know before hunting

hunting in wisconsin
Posted at 8:10 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 21:10:52-05

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is hoping for a safe and successful hunting season by reminding hunters of Wisconsin's trespass law.

According to the law, those who wish to hunt on land owned by someone else must obtain written or verbal permission, according to Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

“Clear communication between hunters and rural landowners is an important measure to ensure a safe and enjoyable hunting season,” said Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Governmental Relations Keith Ripp. “Landowners experiencing issues with trespassers should call their local sheriff’s office; DNR wardens do not have the authority to investigate trespass complaints.”

Officials say hunters are required to make a reasonable effort to retrieve game they have killed or injured, but hunters can not trespass to retrieve game.

“Contacting surrounding landowners ahead of time to get permission to retrieve a killed or injured deer that has crossed property lines is a preventative measure to avoid a potentially stressful situation,” Ripp added.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation said there are two exceptions to when permission is not needed to enter private land:

  • Land enrolled as "open" in the Managed Forest Law program. Land enrolled as "closed" does require permission.
  • Land considered "inholdings" which is private land surrounded by public land. Landowners have to post a sign to prevent hunting by the public on this land. This is typically found in northern Wisconsin.

“Managing our state’s deer herd is important to Wisconsin farmers,” said Ripp. “Knowing the trespass law and open communication are key measures to ensuring a safe season for hunters and landowners alike.”

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